Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Hotting up in Maridalen

More translating today but there was of course time for a trip to Maridalen.

There was an overnight frost but the time I got there around 9am the warm sun had melted the frost on the grass although the ground was still frozen. There was a good feel in the air and at Skjerven there were now 2 Lapwings which were actively feeding and a few Skylarks.

The small area of open water at Hammeren held two pairs of Greylags and five vigorously displaying Goldeneyes – now there was life!

At Kirkeby the first flock of birds I saw was a flock of Snow Buntings flying up from a stubble field. They flew around the area calling but they eventually settled and allowed good views. There were 23 of them and in the stubble and snow they had incredibly good camouflage. This was at the top of my wish list this week and this species is proving to be regular at this time of the year although its visits are very brief. They were few other passerines and still no flocks of thrushes or finches (although a few Chaffinches headed north) but Reed Buntings were new in and alongside Yellowhammers gave three species of bunting. Two Meadow Pipits were surprising and my first of the year. Rock Pipit would have perhaps been more likely.

A flock of 40 or so Hooded Crows needed checking as now is the time to find the less than annual Rook and sure enough….! The Rook was getting a lot of grief from the Hoodies who clearly didn’t like the presence of their cousin but he seemed keen to have their company.

The only vis mig I had except for the Chaffinches was a flock of 18 Cormorants that sent a lot of time considering their options before continuing on their way.

There were two pairs of Whooper Swans in the valley, the Great Grey Shrike is still present and an Adders was basking in the sun J

I was happy with my photographic efforts today although the broken image stabilisor on the bazooka is a challenge at times.

Snow Bunting (snøspurv). No idea whether this is a male or female although suspect it is a male transitioning from winter into summer plumage 

Rook (kornkråke) with two Hooded Crows (kråke) 
Adder (hoggorm)

first Meadow Pipit (heipiplerke) of 2017 
Starling (stær)

Snow Bunting chewing on some corn
part of the flock

I really struggled with flight shots

with so much white in the wing this should be a male Snow Bunting
the Rook copped constant grief from the local Hoodies

a flyby of the OsloBirderMobile

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